Maybe you started your email marketing campaign years ago and you’ve realized you have a large amount of inactive email subscribers. There’s no good reason to waste all your effort building your email list. Even inactive subscribers have value, if you know what to do with them.
With the right strategy, you don’t have to send out new deals, newsletters and other announcements only to think the open rate is too low and the number of sales isn’t satisfactory. Here are some of the ways you can handle inactive email subscribers on your list.
What constitutes an inactive subscriber?
Before we go any further, it’s good to know what constitutes an inactive subscriber. There isn’t really a set rule for this, but usually, if the subscriber goes too long without opening one of your emails, they become inactive. This time fame is different and varies from one website to another.
Is there anything wrong with inactive subscribers?
Inactive email addresses happen when you spend years collecting them and building your list. Often, they are looked at as no big deal, but they could be causing issues with your analytics. When your list contains too many inactive emails, your numbers will not show the real open rates, clicks and sales percentages. These numbers probably drive many of your decisions, so it’s important to have accurate numbers.
Along with messing with your analytics, your inactive subscribers may also be costing you cash. Some of the auto responder programs, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp charge you based on the size of your list. This means, you are paying to have inactive email addresses on your list.
In addition, if those you send messages to don’t open them, they won’t see your message. This means your email marketing isn’t really working.
Why do subscribers become inactive?
You may become very frustrated when you notice subscribers becoming in active. It’s a difficult thing to understand because they gave you an email address, so you assume they are at least somewhat interested in what you have to offer. There are numerous reasons for subscribers going inactive, which include:
- One-time Customers – Sometimes, customers only wanted to purchase one project form you as a gift for someone or they are trying out a new hobby. After the purchase, they have no reason to want your emails anymore and simply don’t have interested in what you offer.
- “Spam or Junk” Email Address – Many people use what is known as a “spam or junk” email address for offers requiring an email address. This is an email address they don’t check very often, or at all. Instead, they just use it for offers they really don’t want to see.
- Outdated Email Address – Another thing that causes inactive subscribers is an outdated email address. Maybe they don’t use it anymore, have a new one from a new job, stopped going to the school it’s associated with or it just became overloaded with spam, so they opened a new account. When a subscriber doesn’t update their information, they may become inactive.
- Content Issues- Of course, there is the real possibility that you are not providing the type of content they want. Maybe the subject line gets lost in the flood of other emails they receive or they open it and the email is simply too long. If this is the case, you may be able to fix it.
There are several reasons for subscribers becoming inactive. It may have nothing to do with you or your website.
How to Give Inactive Subscribers a Nudge
Sometimes, you can resurrect an inactive subscriber by giving them a little nudge. You don’t need to just chop them from your list, just yet. Making one last attempt to re-engage with them may save you a few subscribers, which could turn into customers.
Start with improving your emails. Compelling subject lines may be all it takes or checking the spam rating on emails could be the different. Adding in free gifts, coupon codes and other giveaways may help, as well.
An email sent just to your inactive subscribers with a subject such as, “Come Back, We’ve Missed You!” may be just what you need. This type of email might just get them to open your email and you can even include a coupon code for a special discount.
Another method of resurrecting an inactive subscriber is to send they a survey. Try to find out if they had a bad experience if there is anything you can do to improve.
If you think some of your inactive subscribers may be using an old email address, you could try adding a link to update their information. This might help when they do finally check that old work email or school account.
What about subscribers you can’t re-engage?
Of course, unless you’re very lucky, your efforts to nudge inactive subscribers will only work with some of them. The rest may simply need to be cut from your list to save you money and give you more active analytics. It’s a bit controversial, as some businesses never delete any subscribers and others regularly clean out inactive subscribers.
Understanding how to handle your inactive email subscribers is very important. If you want to get the most out of your inactive subscribers, use the information above and you may be able to get some of them to become active.